Lismore brickie wins Golden Trowel in 12-hour challenge
BRICKLAYING is one of the more physical demanding trades but that didn't stop Lismore apprentice Jacob Wade from pushing the limits in a 12-hour challenge to win the Golden Trowel as Australia's best.
The 23-year-old fourth year apprentice combined with fellow apprentice Michael Boner to beat out 11 other teams in the prestigious event staged at Wollongong last week.
Wade and Boner were nominated for the national competition by Coffs Harbour TAFE teacher Paul Venn.
"I was enrolled doing my third year at TAFE and Paul was allowed to nominate two students to compete in the Golden Trowel," Wade said.
"Paul told me I could look forward to the Golden Trowel because I do a lot of block work at work and the other boys don't do as much."
The competition at Illawarra TAFE attracted some of Australia's best young bricklayers.
"Each team was given the same plan for a block wall and we had 12 hours to build that," said Wade, who has honed his skills under the guidance of Bob Jarrett at RJ and CM Jarrett Bricklaying.
"We had to do two inclined ramps with block mitres, with a set of steps in between that with paving for the capping of the steps, and behind that was a feature block wall with a trowel through it so we had to cut the trowel into it."
The young gun said they needed all of the 12 hours to complete the challenge but they never gave up hope of doing well.
"We went right down to the last five minutes before we had to put tools down, then we sponged it and cleaned it up," he said.
"I didn't think we would win it but I thought we were in the running for it."
Wade and Boner each received a golden trowel in recognition of their efforts.